Thursday, November 10, 2011

Attempt #1 at the No Spend Month

I call this an attempt, because in my opinion, we failed, but we learned a lot from trying this, and it’s amazing how we are able to keep applying all the things we learned from this little money experiment. Just to summarize what a No Spend Month is, because most people think it means not spending any money at all, you pay all your bills and take care of any emergencies that happen in your life. The part where you try to not spend is on things where you have to consciously decide if you want to buy it or not. Examples of these things are gas, food, clothes, outings, etc.

So, we took our food budget, which was still very high from when we were using formula with Lizzy, and cut it almost in half. Then we used it for all of the above mentioned things. We cut back on driving as much as we could, so that we could stretch a tank of gas to two weeks, which is annoyingly hard, because it meant less trips to Salt Lake. If we wanted a treat, we’d either buy it at the grocery store or go super cheap at a fast food place. I tried to make sure that we always had enough food at home so that there was no excuse to go eat out. We actually liked most of these changes, so we’re going to stick with them for a while.

As for the part where we failed, at the very end of the month, we had spent more on food and gas than we budgeted. It was still significantly less than previous months, but part of that was from eating out occasionally, which I think we can easily eliminate for one month when I am no longer exhausted from being pregnant.

We gained a lot from this experience. We were able to buy new tires for the car with cash, because we weren’t spending that money on frivolous things. And, we got a dehydrator so we could add food to our food storage, however, I have eaten all of the food we dried already. It’s just too tasty.


Andrea said...

We tried it as well and our experience was a lot like yours. We learned a lot about our budget, but spent more than we planned. We are going to try it again after the Holidays.

Mom said...

Is that why I'm making more trips down to Pleasant Grove? I think you should suspend the gas thing. It may be your only source of recreation.